It's nearly August and that means lots of things to lots of people - there are the rural folks that begin to indulge in "all things fair" and the farmers that look forward to harvest. There's already ads all around us pleading with us to plan for the upcoming school year. There's the beautiful fall weddings, last of summer family trips, the upcoming orchard visits, moves to college, beginnings of new careers, closing of the cabin, replacing screens with storm windows and on and on.
But these days, at the foundation, our minds and hearts are focusing on August 14. This will be the third "angelversary" of the day Robert was killed by a distracted driver. We plod on looking for meaningful ways to celebrate him and his extraordinary, though short life. We grieve, and will always grieve that this is what we do, instead of what we thought we'd be doing at this point in our lives. Maybe he'd still be taking classes working diligently towards that PhD in Classical Guitar Performance. Maybe he'd be playing gigs (like his parents before him). Maybe we'd be planning a wedding. Who knows what joyous occasions we should have been planning. But in the absence of those events, we still choose to plan and in Robert's memory we will spread and share our resources in such a way as to deter distracted driving and to also uplift and support families and children in our area in ways that remind us of Robert, his generosity, loyalty and selflessness. He was an incredible young man with so much to give.
And so with that in mind it is time for something that we feel is maybe that something this fall that is a little more important than some of those other things we'll all do this fall.
It's time to:
Make your plans today for the ANNUAL RIDE FOR ROBERT. MONDAY, AUGUST 14 (or you can do it over the weekend before...) This year will be like the first year... Take a ride, a run, bike, hike, swim, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, skateboard, whatever you do, do something "Roberty". When you're done, post a picture or video of your ride on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1615884522032400/
to celebrate Robert's life and the things he loved. If you ride to Willmar, please plan to join us at our home for a potluck supper (More details to follow You may sign up in the comments below). We also hope to release some eco-friendly lanterns if the weather's right.
This year we have something special to add: This is the first year that the Ride is part of the Robert J Brau Family Foundation, a non-profit public charity that fights distracted driving and supports families and children in our area in ways that remind us of Robert.
PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A CONTRIBUTION TO THE FOUNDATION IN ROBERT'S MEMORY (or in someone else's memory). The first 20 donations will receive a pair of UofMN "RayBanish" RJB sunglasses and/or a "Just Drive" sticker and all contributions will be acknowledged on the Facebook page and the foundation website. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. We've already donated to the Willmar Destination Playground, but we have so much work to do... We thank you in advance for your support of our efforts in Robert's memory.
Unfortunately, 3700 loved ones die each year as a result of distracted driving (not including those who survive those crashes, but whose futures are now obliterated) - the statistics have not improved since Robert was killed, they've actually gotten worse. Don't wait to support us in insisting the laws change, but even more importantly that people's attitudes
change regarding the social acceptability of "driving distracted". It is now on record as being more deadly than drunk driving. Please help us make a change before it's too late for you or someone you love.